Sunday, July 10, 2011

The Waiting Game

Diagnosis - PNEUMONIA. Not good.

My condition is relatively "mild", if pneumonia can ever be mild. It's sometimes referred to as Walking Pneumonia, or maybe in my case, Running Pneumonia.

My Doctor prescribed antibiotics, which I dislike taking, an inhaler and a narcotic cough syrup that knocks me out like a rock at night. I've been on the meds for three days and feel a little better, especially in the mornings. But by mid-day I am super tired again and prone to fits of coughing. I still cannot take a full breath without coughing. Not the stellar improvement I was hoping for. However, my Doctor said I should not expect to know if the meds are going to take this down until tomorrow or the next day - five days of meds.

So, I am on hold for knowing if I will be able to race next Saturday. My Doctor said it is not out of the question if the meds get at what ails me. I give it a 50% 50% chance at this point.

I am not going to get worked up over this though. My goal in doing this race was the training part. The joy of running with Jesper. The pleasure in running long distances, getting far from the trail head on my own two feet. Seeing my fitness improve as I pushed my body further and further. Gaining satisfaction from sticking to a plan, even when that entailed getting up early and running in the rain.

I hope I am able to race, but if not, I will be there to cheer Jesper on, knowing that I have already succeeded!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Think I spoke too soon...

I thought I was OK, but I was wrong. I wasn't just tired from hard training. I was sick and all that high mileage running was preventing my immune system from bouncing back.

I caught a cold in early June while traveling for work. I took off from my training plan for a few days and then, feeling better but not great, jumped right back into my regularly scheduled runs. The cold dropped into my chest and then just hung out there as a low grade cough. I continued to ramp up my mileage, tipping over the 50 mile per week mark, which each Saturday comprised of a 20+ mile run. After three weeks of that, my little cough developed into shortness of breath and severe coughing.

I finally got smart this weekend when Jesper and I were at the race venue, Buffalo Creek, to do our last big run; a 25-miler. I started the run and promptly began hacking up yellow gunk. This is DUMB, I said out loud to no one but myself. My poor immune system would certainly not benefit from another long run. I stopped running at three miles and turned around for the car.

In retrospect, I think the training volume would have been OK but for my catching a cold. Because my training plan did not have a lot of wiggle room for achieving my top mileage, I stupidly jumped right back into to training. Instead, I should have allowed a week or two of "fluff" in my training. That way I could have taken a full week off from running and then eased back into my mileage and still have had time to reach my longest run distance before the race. It's all a learning process...

I am hopeful at this point that I have simply started my taper a bit earlier than planned, but within an acceptable time frame for this length of a race. However, after three days of complete rest, my cough is no better and may be worse. I am seeing the doctor tomorrow.